Effects of dimples on laminar boundary layers

N. Beratlis, E. Balaras, Kyle Squires

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


A series of direct numerical simulations of the flow past a flat plate with two and eight rows of dimples in a staggered arrangement is carried out. The Reynolds number based on the boundary layer thickness and freestream velocity near the inflow plane is 1000 and the dimples are spherical with a depth to diameter ratio of 0.1. The incoming flow is laminar and the boundary layer thickness before the dimples is half the dimple depth. At this low Reynolds number the flow is expected to remain laminar over a smooth flat plate. The presence of the dimples triggers instabilities that cause significant momentum transport. It is shown that the shear layer that forms as the flow separates over the first two rows of dimple becomes unstable and sheds coherent vortex sheets. The vortex sheets become unstable and are transformed into packets of horseshoe vortices. When these vortices evolve over a flat plate or over a series of dimples the flow dynamics are very different with important changes in momentum transport across the boundary layer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)611-627
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Turbulence
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2 2014


  • dimples
  • flat plate
  • laminar
  • momentum transport
  • shear layer
  • transition
  • turbulent

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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